Megans Against Overviews

by Megan M. on January 2, 2009 · View Comments (Blog) |

Overviews are too often uninteresting, colorless glossings-over—at least when I write them. It’s a shame, because the only times I feel driven to write an overview are the times I’ve experienced something really worth sharing (and been too long in actually sharing it). But if I’ve experienced something really worth sharing… doesn’t it deserve better than an overview?

My urge to talk about New York has been like that. It made an impression on me. Hell, any one piece of that trip would have made an impression on me, but altogether it was a flood of them. I can’t put that across in an overview. And if I were to write an overview… man, it’d be boring. Worst post of the year. (Worse still, for mistreating what could otherwise be an amazing story. Those freaking buildings!)

I don’t want to give you factoids. I don’t want to outline my itinerary. I want to write something that helps you feel what I felt. Even if your only viable involvement is my retelling, I want you to have an emotional investment that gives you a real experience, not just useful information, but something that resonates. Something that stays with you.

I guess I can’t promise to have that kind of skill, but I’ll sure as hell try.

I want you to understand the way Austin’s downtown city lights take my breath away, so that you can try to grasp why New York’s sheer glitter and spread stopped my heart. Austin is comfy and just-right, and New York is the great growling wilderness. The lights were everywhere. The city grows out, but it also grows up… and up, and up, and up!

I don’t want to impart the whole thing in one mediocre swath. If I have to write the whole experience in tiny vignettes over the course of the next three months, well, fine. I hope that won’t drive you nuts. Because I just can’t stand to do it any other way.

You get it, don’t you?

  • CoCreatr
    Looking forward to your story, Megan. I was in NYC only once, in 1992, on company mission, our first international computerization project. Our office was in Danbury, CT at the time, a good hour drive, an my colleagues there told me about another (German) colleague who loved NYC so much he decided to live there. If I were to write about my impressions, I would probably focus on a story of his.
    So, let us know your impressions, piecemeal will be fine.
  • Betsy Wuebker
    Oh yeah, I do. Because I'm the one who invariably paints the entire landscape instead of zooming in on the leaf, or the rock, that is so perfect and deserving in its own right. Here's a writing goal I've set: zoom in. And you've helped by explaining the feeling of why it needs to happen more than anyone has. Up til now. I can't wait to hear/read your takes. :D
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